Arm Triangle Choke Tips And Tricks You Need To Know

how to do arm triangle choke

The arm triangle choke is one among several effective submission techniques in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Moreover, it can be used in wrestling, MMA, and even in self-defense martial arts. Otherwise, this BJJ move is typically being achieved successfully in both BJJ GI and No-Gi grappling. As a BJJ or MMA practitioner, you ought to learn the arm triangle tips, tricks, and setups, because this submission leaves the opponent strangled between their shoulder and your hand.


The arm-triangle choke is among the head and arm submissions that are reachable from several jiu-jitsu positions, including the side control, top mount, closed guard, and half guard. But, the famous position is side control.

During this article, you’ll learn the arm-triangle choke fundamentals, variations, entries, transitions, tips, tricks, and setups. Stay tuned!

But, first, let’s learn the arm-triangle choke fundamentals.

Arm Triangle Choke Fundamentals

What Does The Arm Triangle Stand For? 

The arm-triangle choke submission (Kata Gatame Judo in Japanese Jujitsu) is similar to the normal jiu jitsu triangle choke, except that the attacker uses his arms rather than his legs. It stands among head and arm choke submissions that disturb the opponent’s blood flow.

Otherwise, arm triangles can be achieved from several positions including standing position, side control, mount, and guard. And, to achieve this awesome submission, you would like to use your arm alongside your opponent’s outstretched arm and shoulder.

Hence, the arm-triangle technique is a tough and effective submission technique that has a spread of variations. Right? 

How To Do The Arm Triangle Choke?

Throughout this video, Stephan Kesting teaches you how to finish an arm-triangle choke. He also explained and mentioned the arm triangle’s concepts and fundamentals. Source: Stephan Kesting

The Kata Gatame or arm-triangle choke can be implemented during the chest-to-chest situation within your opponent (for example, from the side mount). However, there are plenty of Arm Triangles’ variations, and each one with its proper strengths and weaknesses. 

Hence, some arm-triangle chokes are best utilized from mount and side control, while others are better to tap out your opponent from the bottom guard or standing position.

Indeed, each Arm Triangle requires a special scenario; you should practice all of them, so you ought to go for this submission from several positions! 

Source: Embrace Cejudo

The key to penetrating the triangle arm choke setup can be done by using the action-reaction principle. This means that you should force your opponent to react by extending his or her arms, then, you isolate the opponent’s hand which is necessary for all triangle chokes variations

Arm Triangle Choke Variations

arm triangle choke variationsAs mentioned at the beginning of this article, you can set up the arm-triangle choke from several positions. Therefore, there are several BJJ arm-triangle variations that you ought to try like the reverse arm triangle, the mounted arm triangle, etc.

Here are several variations of the arm triangle techniques. 

Arm Triangle From Top Mount

This is a helpful BJJ instructional video that will help you perform a triangle arm choke from the mount. Source: Hurricane Jiu Jitsu

The mount is among the top dominant positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It’s a niche of several BJJ submissions and transitions including chokes, triangles, arm locks, etc. Thus, landing on the mount position may be a good result for many BJJ practitioners. But, what’s next? The game doesn’t end here!

The arm triangle may be an awesome submission to go for from mount in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and also in mixed martial arts. So, what are the necessary steps to properly take the arm-triangle choke?

Here is an awesome scenario to hunt the arm triangle BJJ from the full mount:

  1. The primary step is to mount your opponent.
  2. Drive your shoulder into your opponent’s face to create shoulder pressure. This will force your opponent to push you away by extending his or her arm, allowing you to trap his arm and head in your choke.
  3. Wrap your arm around the opponent’s neck, and settle for a solid grip.
  4. Squeeze slowly to finish the Arm choke submission, and wait for the tap!

Triangle Arm Choke From The BJJ Side Control Position

Throughout this video, you’ll get helpful details on how to set up the arm triangle from the side control. Source: Howcast

Side control is among the suitable positions that give the practitioner many attack opportunities, such as an arm triangle. The main question here is, how to do arm-triangle choke from the side control?

The arm triangle’s setup from the side mount is almost like the one from the mount. Here are the main steps:

  1. The primary step is to pass your opponent’s guard, then reach and secure the side control.
  2. Wait for your opponent’s reaction that will more likely place his hand to create some space in the desire to escape.
  3. Seize the opportunity by controlling the opponent’s head and swimming your forearm underneath their neck. 
  4. Isolate the opponent’s arm: after controlling the opponent’s head, he’s going to fight you off with their free arm and elbow across your face. Use this to your advantage and isolate his hand.
  5. Place your head backtrack to pin their shoulder down with their arm stuck across their neck.
  6. Grab for the gable grip by clasping both palms together. This puts you an arm choke position. 
  7. Squeeze and finish the arm choke submission, and wait for the tap!

Arm Triangle From Closed Guard

Source: TRITAC Martial Arts

The closed guard is among the basic guards in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. This awesome BJJ position gives the bottom player a plethora of attacks like the arm-triangle choke. Therefore, to set up a triangle arm  from a closed guard, follow these practical steps:

  1. First, begin by having the BJJ opponent into your closed guard. 
  2. Break your opponent’s posture like any attack from the closed guard.
  3. Use your knees to kick into the opponent’s upper body to drive him or her out of balance. This move forces your opponent to put down one hand on the mat.
  4. Now, trap the opponent’s arm, and make a hip escape toward it to secure it. Meanwhile, use your head to push his arm across his face as you’d from a normal arm triangle.
  5. Interlock your arms together, either by clasping your palms together for a gable grip.
  6. Readjust yourself by hip escaping towards the arm that’s trapped to make the arm triangle very tight.
  7.  Finish the BJJ Submission!

An arm-triangle from closed guard may be one of the early submissions that any practitioner should know. However, it is a submission where many players find struggles to finish properly even after years of jiu-jitsu training.

So, how can you finish the arm-triangle from the closed guard?

Going for the arm triangle attack many times will help you identify your errors. Moreover, you will learn some tips and tricks to set up this beautiful move correctly.

Throughout this video, you’ll learn how to finish the bottom closed guard arm-triangle choke. Source: Hurricane Jiu Jitsu

Standing Arm Triangle

This is an awesome jiu-jitsu instructional video that will help you to set the triangle arm choke correctly from a standing position. Source: Randy Brown

The standing arm-triangle choke is a savage Brazilian jiu-jitsu submission technique. It could be an awesome entrance to some beautiful BJJ takedowns. But, it is rarely utilized because the fighter could not maintain a point of strength during such a transition.

However, it’s used largely in MMA where the fighter could serve the cage to finish the arm triangle.

Arm Triangle From The Bottom Half Guard

Here is a helpful BJJ instructional video that gives you great detail on how to properly do the triangle arm submission from the bottom half guard? Source: Howcast

The jiu-jitsu half guard is another position to achieve an arm-triangle choke, and there are many variations that you simply can try if you’re in the bottom half guard in a BJJ match.

So, how to do the Arm triangle from the bottom half guard in jiu-jitsu? From the bottom half guard insert your hand around the opponent’s arm and neck to reach out to the Arm triangle position. Then you have to bridge to destabilize your opponent and make your arm triangle so tight. Then, finish the submission.

Reverse Arm Triangle Choke

The concept of the arm triangle is like the normal triangle but the grappler uses their hands and shoulders to form a triangle-shaped structure in order to strangle an opponent.

The reverse arm-triangle choke has the same concepts but with reverse control. Besides, it’s an invisible submission that can be achievable from the north-south position. Otherwise, it’s very applicable in no-gi BJJ grappling and MMA. Learn more about reverse arm choke in this video.

Source: Invisible Jiu Jitsu

Rear Arm Triangle

The rear arm triangle may be an old and tricky head and arm submission that can be achieved from back control. it’s an effective submission very applicable to nogi jiu-jitsu and MMA. Learn more about the rear arm triangle in this video.

Source: Howcast

Inverted Arm Triangle

The inverted arm triangle stands among the best arm triangle variations. It’s a tough choke that’s so effective in both gi and no-gi grappling, as well as in MMA.

Arm Triangle Choke Defense

arm triangle choke

As mentioned before, arm triangle submission is among the foremost effective techniques in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and MMA. It may leave the receiver with few options, but if he has good timing and reading for the game, he can escape and defend the submission.  

So, how can I defend the arm triangle?

Answering the phone move can be an awesome choice to defend the arm triangle choke technique. This move will help to create space between your neck and isolated arm, which can give you enough space to breathe. It will help you to gain some time, but no position stays forever.  

Here’s an awesome video that gives you more tips to escape or defend an arm-triangle choke.

Source: fightTIPS


The Arm Triangle may be a very powerful submission hold that tightens each side of the opponent’s neck by applying pressure by trapping their head and arm. It’s one of the more famous submissions out there in Judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA, and wrestling.

The triangle arm is one of the foremost effective submissions that fighters use alongside armbars, rear naked chokes, and triangle chokes.

Otherwise, the arm triangle is extremely easy to use once you learn the basic setup. Once you’ve got the choke lock, the position is fairly easy to carry on to.

It’s probably one among the sooner chokes you would possibly learn within the beginner levels. However, you’ll start mastering within the intermediate level.

We hope that the arm triangle steps above will give more advantages on becoming proficient with each of those variations.

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How to perform the arm triangle?

You can perform the Arm triangle choke from the jiu jitsu mount, side control, or maybe from the closed guard. The point here is to trap the opponent’s head and arm and squeeze off their air supply.

How to reach the BJJ arm triangle position?

The arm triangle choke can be performed from the jiu jitsu mount position. But, you can achieve it from the side control, guard, and even from a standing position. 

How to defend the jiu-jitsu arm triangle? 

You can try the straightforward “answering the phone” technique if you would like to defend the arm-triangle choke. This move will create some space between your neck and your isolated arm and this might offer you only enough space for you to be ready to breathe. However, if you employ this method, make sure that you simply give your best shot to urge out of this position.



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